decorating · home repairs · house

What I did on my winter break: bathroom repaint

Thanks for the advice on my pattern – the consensus seemed to be no contrasting panel, so I’m trying the high neckline without contrast.  I can always cut a contrasting panel if I change my mind!  I started it last night, and so far (knock on wood!) it’s going well.

Our bathroom has long been a work in progress.  When we moved in it was apparent that the previous owners had cared about having a nice shower, and not much else, thus this sink and light fixture:

The light fixture was homemade, probably from the remnants of the homemade trim:
Yes, that is a 2×4, glued to a quarter round and a piece of tiny trim.  They also didn’t believe in priming, as you can see from the bubbled and peeling paint.  I repainted it (using primer this time!) and it’s better.   It’s still not great, because it’s very hard to clean in the gap, but I don’t have the cash at the moment for what I wanted (tile or wainscotting.)

Here is the color it was most recently:

The entire bathroom, including the door and door trim was painted pale flat yellow when we moved in.  I painted the door white, and the rest a pale blue (Martha Stewart for Valspar, discontinued.)  I never loved the paint color – it looked ok in sunlight, but dingy at night, and it didn’t match the purplish undertones in the stone shower.  It also developed steam marks almost immediately – the kind where it looks like the walls are weeping.  They were impossible to wash off, so I knew I needed to repaint in a paint specifically for bathrooms.

Here is the result:
New bathroom
This color is Iron Mountain from Benjamin Moore, the same color I used in my hallway.  I like Iron Mountain because it’s somewhere several colors at once – both an almost charcoal, a taupe brown, and a plum.  It’s also nice and dark, which I like better than bright colors for a bathroom.  I used Aura Bath and Spa paint, which is supposed to keep off some of the weeping (steam marks on the walls) that I had with the cheaper paint.  We will see – I’ve banished all towels from the bathroom and plan to shower with the door open from now on.  We don’t have an exhaust fan, and with this being a second floor (out of 3) bathroom, we can’t really install one.  I thought of having one installed out the wall, but I want to see if I can solve the problem another way first.  I’ll try opening the window as well after a shower – that’s the reason why it’s up to code, because if you have a bathroom you aren’t required to have a fan.

I bought new rugs:
Picture 877

All the bathroom rugs now seem to be made of memory foam, and I don’t like them.  We had a set of those, and they were impossible to keep clean and nice looking.  These rugs are nice and soft, and without a rubber backing they can go through the wash.
I need something for the walls, so the room isn’t finished, but I feel much better about it now.  On to the sewing room!  I managed to pawn the bed off on one of my friends, so now I can get started.

20 thoughts on “What I did on my winter break: bathroom repaint

  1. The new color looks great! Our bathroom had the paint (multiple layers of it in varying colors) peeling and bubbling something awful. We scraped it down a month or so ago but haven’t filled and painted it yet.

    Also, the rubber backed rugs can go through the wash- just not the dryer. 🙂

  2. Beautiful transformation. I love the new color. It looks so good. It transformed everything in the room. The floor looks prettier, the fixtures look fresh, the trim and window pop. It looks great!

  3. Let your new paint cure for at least a week before using the shower. If you get a good cure on the paint, you shouldn’t have weeping of peeling problems. Also exhausting the fan externally is a good idea. That will eliminate most of the steam problems.

  4. This looks fantastic! Darker colours in bathrooms always make them feel spa like… I spent my holiday break repainting out master bedroom. We’re in the same boat where the previous owners painted everything themselves poorly (masking tape and primer optional, apparently). The whole house was mauve with violet trim… It’s taking a while to fix! I hope your new paint treats you well!

  5. I really like the new color! But my question is where did you find the rug? I’d love to have one that I can actually put through the washer, as I generally can’t be bothered to pick up the towel after every shower and so it gets stepped on with shoes quite regularly.

  6. Sometimes I think I’d like a bathroom in that blue color but in large doses it can lose its playfulness and just look dated. I think the color you chose was the right one cause your camera obviously loved it. The lack of fan, though not tragic, I hope you will be able to resolve one day (especially for those cold rainy days).

  7. Love the new color! I’ve never heard of that paint but I have the exact same problem – no fan – in our bathroom, I need to check it out!

  8. The wall color works really well with the floor. What is going on with the half wall near the shower? It looks unfinished at the top?

    There will always be incompatibilities with bathrooms and wood floors/no tile.

    How tall is the door into the room? One solution would be to add an operable transom window to the door. That way, you can vent the steam to the hall without losing privacy. It may mean raising the opening to the room or shortening the door, if it is a tall door.

    1. Thanks! The wall by the shower is actually tiled, but you can’t tell that from the photo. The floors aren’t real wood – they are a vinyl that looks like wood, so I’m not too worried about them. I like the idea of a transom. The door is pretty tall, but there is room above. The only issue is that I don’t think I’m tall enough to open or close it (the ceilings are 10 feet, so the doors are at least 8 feet up.) Still, it’s a good idea – I will think about it.

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